I admit it; I am an unreserved fan of projectors. I've had one as my sole display since my 38-inch RCA CRT blew up four years ago. There is nothing like watching life-size (or larger than life-size) characters on a 110-inch screen. Now, that is engaging. I don't understand why everyone doesn't have a projector. Guests to my gloomy, cavelike abode could probably offer logical rationales. But come on: Look at the size of Adama's head!
Rarely before this movie had such bad people been seen getting away with bad things. You love Steve McQueen’s Carter despite the fact that he’s a bank robber and he kills people. Add in Ali MacGraw, explosions, and the fact that this is one of the only movies made almost entirely in sequence (as in the first scene was shot first, the last one last), and you have a classic of American cinema.
In our November 2006 issue, I wrote an article in this space on the difference between 1080p and 1080i. In the same issue, we reported on how many TVs don't deinterlace 1080i correctly, and how even fewer pick up the 3:2 sequence when given a 1080i signal from a film-based source. The resulting confusion caused a torrent of e-mails. Let me clear up what this all means for you. But, before I go on, let me make one thing perfectly clear: I feel that every TV should deinterlace and pick up 3:2 properly; but, while it is a shame if they don't, it is not the end of the world.
LG shocked the consumer electronics world at CES when they announced that, not only were they coming out with a player that would play Blu-ray and HD DVD, but it would be shipping in less than a month. True to their word, it did, and I got one in to try out. Around the same time, Toshiba released a pair of second-generation HD DVD players. The model I look at here, the HD-XA2, is notable as it is the first HD DVD player to output 1080p. The Blu-ray camp (seeing as they had just released most of their players) had no such exciting newness beyond what you read about in our April issue. So, we got in the Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray player, which is unique in that it doesn't seem to be a clone of any other players (which you can't say for many of the BD players out there). Where should your money go (if at all)? Just keep reading.
As much as I love projectors, most people feel they can’t live with one. Apparently, some people don’t like living in a completely light-controlled environment. Come on, caves are fun. Not convinced? Neither are most people. So enter a subcategory of the screen market—one that caters to those folks who want a big-screen image, without the cost of a flat panel and without the light requirements of a regular front-projection system. I wrote an article a few months ago on several screens that fit this niche. You can read that one here. Planar’s Xscreen takes a similar approach but adds a few different features.
For 50-some years, 3D has been promised as the next big thing in entertainment. In reality, it has been around a lot longer than that. Everyone remembers (or at least has seen references to) the red-and-blue or polarized glasses of yore that let you experience the likes of Captain EO and Jaws 3D in all their "glory." Some heavyweights in the movie industry are really pushing for 3D again, and its success in theaters may or may not have any effect on whether you bring 3D into your home. Personally, I feel my life is 3D enough and would prefer more 2-D, but that's just me.
What’s amazing about watching this movie now is how trite it seems. From the car chase through San Francisco to Steve McQueen’s effortlessly cool lead as an insubordinate cop, it has all been done countless times. But what many people have forgotten is that this was the first time any of that had been done in any real way. The plot is almost inconsequential. This movie is about watching McQueen be the badass that he was—and one of the greatest car chases ever put on film.
The Broken Lizard boys’ last jaunt was the semiamusing Club Dread. It yielded some laughs and the worst-looking DVD I have seen in years. So, the idea of their next movie being available on HD DVD is amusing in itself. The movie follows a group of college buddies as they train and compete in the underground German drinking contest, which goes by the same name as the title. If you haven’t found their previous movies funny, this one won’t convince you. If you’re looking for a funny, stupid movie, this one is it.